Ellen G. White Writings

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Fundamentals of Christian Education, Page 71

Chapter 7—The Importance of Physical Training

The present age is one of unparalleled interest in education. The wide diffusion of knowledge through the agency of the press, placing the means for self-culture within the reach of all, has awakened a general desire for mental improvement.

While we acknowledge with gratitude our increased facilities, we should not close our eyes to the defects in the present system of education. In the eager effort to secure intellectual culture, physical as well as moral training has been neglected. Many youth come forth from institutions of learning with morals debased, and physical powers enfeebled; with no knowledge of practical life, and little strength to perform its duties.

As I have seen these evils, I have inquired, Must our sons and daughters become moral and physical weaklings, in order to obtain an education in the schools? This should not be; it need not be, if teachers and students will but be true to the laws of nature, which are also the laws of God. All the powers of mind and body should be called into active exercise, that the youth may become strong, well-balanced men and women.

Many students are in so great haste to complete their education that they are not thorough in anything which they undertake. Few have sufficient courage and self-control to act from principle. Most students fail to understand the true object of education, and hence fail to take such a course as to secure this object. They apply themselves to the study of mathematics or the languages, while they neglect a study far more essential to the happiness and success of life. Many who can explore the depths of the earth with the geologist, or traverse the heavens with the astronomer, show not the slightest interest in the wonderful mechanism of their own bodies. Others can tell just how many bones there are in the human frame, and correctly describe every organ of the body, and

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